Friday, September 26, 2008

The Raid on Marianna - September 26, 1864


On September 26, 1864, Asboth's column moved east across Holmes County, striking farms and homes along the way, and crossed over into the northwestern corner of Jackson County.
Their initial target was Campbellton, an important farm center near the Alabama line north of Marianna.
The community is noteworthy as the home of Florida's oldest Baptist Church. Founded in the 1820s, the Campbellton Baptist Church has been active for more than 180 years.
As the Federals moved up the road connecting the Marianna ford over Holmes Creek with Campbellton (today's Tri-County Road), they began to encounter resistance from the members of Captain A.R. Godwin's Campbellton Cavalry. A local home guard unit, this company had formed earlier in the year and was under standing orders to resist any attack and notify headquarters in Marianna of the situation.
As soon as Captain Godwin was alerted that raiders were in the area, he mustered his men and rode out to meet them. Although they were heavily outnumbered, the Campbellton men employed standard cavalry tactics of skirmishing with the advance of the Union column and then pulling back ahead of the enemy. Skirmishing continued throughout the day, appreciably slowing the movement of Asboth's force.
There are no reports of casualties in this fighting, although two members of Godwin's company were captured when they got too close to the oncoming Federals.
By late afternoon, Asboth reached Campbellton where he halted his exhausted force to camp for the night. Godwin and his men hovered in the distance, watching and waiting. Meanwhile, the messenger sent to Marianna with news of the enemy approach reached the city and alerted Colonel Montgomery that enemy troops were in the Campbellton area.
Montgomery immediate rode out with Chisolm's company of Alabama Militia cavalry and the mounted infantrymen of Company C, 1st Florida Reserves (Poe's company). He reached the Campbellton area after dark and made contact with Godwin's men, but did not attempt to engage the Federals.
Our series on Asboth's raid on Marianna will continue. Until the next post you can read more by visiting www.battleofmarianna.net. Also, please remember that the Children of the American Revolution will be hosting two special walking tours of the Marianna battlefield tomorrow (Saturday) on the anniversary of the battle. The tours begin at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and the cost to participate is $5 (12 and under are free). They start from the park area in front of the historic Russ House (Jackson County Chamber of Commerce) on West Lafayette Street (U.S. 90) in Marianna.

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